Mission Statements

Does anybody use mission statements? Do you have a mission statement? I guess let's include value statements, vision statements, hearing statements, smelling statements, feel-good statements, and fluffy statements.

I know the old drill: You set your mission statment and then your strategic plan evolves from that. To me mission statements seem like a lot of fluff and nonsense that everyone soon forgets and shoves aside anyway. It's sad to think of all the time and energy that has gone into creating these modern psalms and the useless allegiance they receive.

Am I wrong? Can someone give me a useful purpose of these things?

We will be having our annual startegic planning session in the near future and I'm sure the fascilitator will be hammering at us to come up with a mission statement. Up until now we have managed to avoid this fate, but I fear the dreaded assignment will be upon us. In preparation, I have created what I think is as meaningful a mission statement as I have seen anywhere else. I will share it with you now, because after I share it at the meeting, I may not be back to tell you how it went.


We are committed to make strides towards engaging our mega-infomediaries to successfully unleash catalysts for niches to enable us to revolutionize interactive e-mindshare which will enable virtual e-niches, bleeding-edge initiatives, and future-proof orthogonal cybermetrics as part of our business plan to execute effort-intensive net bandwidth involving efficiently simplifying scalable sub-eyeballs, deploying evolutionary portals and intelligently strategizing proactive mega-shemas which will commit us to streamlining our world-class functionalities and innovating our relationship corridors to effectively kick our competitors’ a**es.


  • 9 Comments sorted by Votes Date Added
  • I don't personally have one though Covey said I should. My church has one and the poster gets dragged out on occasion at Board Meetings when particularly sensitive issues are being discussed. Maybe if I did have one I wouldn't get into so much trouble...God only knows.

    Cheryl C.
  • I'm with you on this one, Larry. Just my opinion, but I find most mission/vision/philosophy statements (my organization has all three, Lord help me) to be nothing more than vapid pronouncements that, at best, state the obvious... and at worst, induce the gag reflex.

    We've all heard the old cliche: "No one, on their deathbed, ever said that they wished they'd spent more time at the office." Well, on my deathbed, I'm sure I'll be saying, "I wish I had back every stinkin' minute I spent being bored senseless in meetings developing a mission statement."

    p.s. Thanks to your post, my goal for the week is to work "mega-infomediaries" into a conversation at the earliest possible opportunity.
  • [font size="1" color="#FF0000"]LAST EDITED ON 11-29-05 AT 12:07PM (CST)[/font][br][br]>Can someone give me a useful purpose of these things?

    Kinda' like Whirlwind indicated: redirect attention to the important stuff when an employee, department or division loses focus. It's *supposed* to be obvious and a slap in the face, and I like the idea of having it on poster board so you can, literally, hit the slackers over the head with it.

    Our mission statement is simple: CHA provides elderly, near-elderly and disabled individuals and low-income individuals and families clean, safe, and affordable housing.

    It's when you get into the philosophy and vision statements that gag me...

    Edit: Oh, by the way, LarryC - does your company build webpages? Cuz that's what your template sounds like to me... That, or a computer virus production line!
  • [font size="1" color="#FF0000"]LAST EDITED ON 11-30-05 AT 10:44AM (CST)[/font][br][br]I think it depends on what you're doing. At my day job of building aerospace parts (OK, hiring people to do so), if we do have a mission statement, we don't really use it. However, I have mentioned before that I am on the regional health board and we DO have a mission statement that we use. It helps us to focus our priorities and make decisions (will this take us where we want to go?). I am on the grant committee that reviews proposals for small amounts of funding, and I refer back to our mission and supporting documents (public health improvement plan based on the mission, etc.) to determine if programs support our mission. In my previous non-profit life, I typed our mission statement a thousand times in grant proposal applications to demonstrate how our program fit their funding priorities.

    So, I do think they have their places, but I don't think they belong everywhere. Although I really like the way you ended yours - really ties it all together! :>)

    Edited to add - we DO have a quality policy at my day job, which could be considered a mission statement. We are committed to provide on-time, defect-free product; drive continuous improvement in products and processes; and enhance customer loyalty. That really is the basis for our strategic plan. We don't "use" it like the health dept uses theirs, but like FL, we have it posted, we give out cards, and we train our employees to know how they have an effect on quality because an auditor could ask them that. (My effect is by hiring good people and making sure they are adequately trained by keeping the records and sending out reminders.)
  • I work for a company that has a Mission Statement. I have a personal mission statement for myself that addresses both professional and personal goals. I have my personal mission statement posted in my office and I look at it every day. I have looked at it everyday for the past six years. I do not hire, I do not fire, I do not recommend promotions for ees, I deal primarily with employee complaints (I work in the HR - Legal department for my company). I spend almost all of my time investigating employee complaints, with 130,000 ees, my department is busy. We handle all litigation, all formal complaints (inside and outside agencies), so it can become rather tenous. I review my personal mission statement every day to remind myself what my purpose is. It makes a difference to me.

    Our company places alot of emphasis on our corporate Mission Statement. We go over it at orientation, it is in every break room, we hand out cards with it listed on it, we ask our ees if they are treated in accordance with it when we talk to them. It is a core principle for us because our senior management believes it is important. When I do an investigation, I look at whether we violated any laws, corporate policies, or our Mission Statement. I have recommended disciplinary action for managers that have not followed our Mission Statement and have never had any problems from operations about following through with the recommendation. It is because it is important that our ees know we stand behind it and believe it. I agree that if you are going to have one, you need to stand behind it. Your ees will know whether it is real, or whether it is just words on a piece of paper. If you don't want to be held to it, don't bother making one up.
  • Wow! What a novel concept - a working mission statement. Garth, would you be willing to share your working mission statement? (Not to be confused with the normal mission statements of which we speak.)
  • I am sending it to you, as well as the tools in place we have to make it work. Keep an eye out for it!
  • I think that they have a lot of value. The planning keeps high level people in meetings for hours on end so that they can't bother people who are working.
  • I like the corporate mission statements that are brief but say a lot, like Chick-fil-A ("We sell chicken") or Disneyworld ("Happiest place on earth").

    Anne in Ohio
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